MALVERN MP Harriett Baldwin has pledged her support to the county’s Local Enterprise Partnership as the Government carries out a review of regional growth plans.
The Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government is looking at the way LEPs are supported and as part of its review, it will look at whether LEPs should merge into larger economic blocks.
But Mrs Baldwin has written to the Government department this week calling for a review of this proposal and offered her support to the Worcestershire LEP.
LEPs were created following the abolition of the regional development agencies and the Worcestershire LEP was founded on the county boundary lines with a business-led management team.
Since its formation the LEP has secured Government funding for important infrastructure projects and helped to win nearly £5million of funding to develop 5G telecommunications applications at Malvern Hills Science Park.
Mrs Baldwin said; “Our Worcestershire LEP has done a great job in recent years listening to what business needs and then delivering great results.
“This is exactly what it was tasked to do when it was first created and I was a bit surprised to read that LEPs across the UK are now being asked to look again at their geographical coverage.
“I have written to the Secretary of State asking him to provide more information on this proposal and I plan to discuss the matter with our local LEP management team shortly.
“I was glad to see the back of the large, unwieldy Advantage West Midlands which spent vast sums of public money with very little scrutiny and then cost us millions more when it shut down.
“I would hate to see our own high-performing LEP being pressurised into joining into a larger strategic grouping and taking away the strong local voice for Worcestershire business.”